Product Type: Hewlett-Packard laptops
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Good size, great usability, fantastic price - a non-technical review!
Compaq Presario CQ57-203SA
Member Name: RLB2
Compaq Presario CQ57-203SA
Advantages: Under £400, neat, well built, powerful
Disadvantages: A bit heavy for carrying around everyday
I bought this laptop as a replacement to the small netbook that I had been using for travelling with work, which had unfortunately decided to pack in. I made the decision to go for a larger laptop, that would allow me to work all the time and this Compaq was on offer in my local shop. I compared it with a couple of other similarly priced laptops (under £400) and found that the Compaq had the best specifications for the price. It was pre-loaded with Windows 7 and set up was very straightforward, just a case of turning it on and letting it do it's thing (useful for those non-technical people). My laptop came pre-loaded with Norton anti-virus, free for 60 days, which I thought was useful for spreading the cost of new technology.
The thing with buying Compaq is that it is a subsidiary company of HP, so you can trust the name. The laptops and computers tend to be no-frills, but perfectly useable and powerful. This laptop is no exception, it didn't jump out from the shelf as a shiny laptop, in fact it's plaine matt black. However, it outperforms most of the shiny laptops with fancy coloured cases and was actually a bit cheaper than many of them. In terms of build quality, it feels very well made, the keyboard is a good size and it is easy to type on all day. The mousepad is one of the more modern intergrated ones, that is the same level as the surrounding case and just slightly textured. The mousepad is very responsive and the only tiny complaint I have is that the surrounding case sometimes get fingerprints on it (just a tiny bugbear of mine).
The battery lasts for a good 2 hours when fully charged and only takes an hour or so to charge when it's on. I think this was the best thing for me, because it meant I could use the laptop on the move without looking for a plug socket. The screen is a good size and it's easy enough to read and work on all day. The laptop comes with all the usual things, like a DVD RW drive, it has 3 USB sockets and an SD card reader, which is good because I always manage to loose the equipment for my camera.
In terms of how powerful it is, I can run several programs simultaneously, everything works very quickly, which is great. It takes no time at all to turn it on, so you can shut down to save power and not worry about having to wait for ages to get back to work. I wouldn't say that it is the most powerful laptop you could buy, but it performs well enough for everyday things like writing e-mails, uploading photos, using microsoft office and surfing the web. It even runs my statistic programs that I need for work, so that's great for me.
All in all a great laptop for under £400, although probably a bit heavy for carrying around everyday!
Summary: A good budget laptop option, that seems to work really well for the money!
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